When topics go viral, every blog publisher with a blog relating in any way to the newly viral topic wants to get a piece of the traffic action. Since the Google search strings relating to the topic are new (“NFL Refs Lockout Over” as of today, for example), there aren’t a lot of sites that have grabbed the top ranking for such emerging trending topics. Blog owners relish these opportunities, as they can deliver new readers to their sites. So, they jump on the bandwagon, crafting and seeking content intended to maximize the potential traffic burst. As writers, we can help publishers attract this traffic by framing the concepts in our articles in terms of the trending topics. Here is how.
Know the Trends (We’re Baking Them In!)
Exciting news for writers: Content BLVD gives blog owners the opportunity to request topic ideas that they want the most, then get great articles written on those topics – FOR FREE. So, each campaign that lists a site upon which an article will be published already contains the exact topic desired by a real-life blog publisher. Since “what topics blogs want to publish” is largely the same as “what topics are trending on blogs,” you can learn how to tailor your articles to the desires of publishers by writing for these assignments. As more and more publishers use our Topic Request feature, we’ll have an accurate tally of what publishers want, and consequently a great sense of what topics are trending.
Know the Trends (We’ll Tell You!)
Starting next week, we’ll be sending out a list of topics trending on blogs. By adapting your articles to incorporate a trending topic, you’ll create a piece that is more attractive to publishers.
Sort the Trends
Ah, the tricky part. Some trends, like Trending Topics on Twitter, tend to be of the instant-gratification variety. Currently, “Herbert Lom,” “FilmsIGrewUpWith” and “backinmiddleschool” are the top three Twitter trends. By the time you read this article, the trends will certainly have changed. These are NOT the types of topics you want to incorporate into an article. Make sure the trend has some staying power, and some broad purchase. Herbert Lom, the actor who played Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther films, died today at age 95. While folks may look for information about him today, by next week, that search traffic (and attendant value to publishers) will be virtually zero. Be sure to pick a trend that is current and will continue to have relevance for at least 6 months.
Framing Made Easy
Say we’ve got four assignments relating to Real Estate topics on the assignment wall next week. You look over our new, handy-dandy Trending Topics email and don’t see the words “Real” or “Estate.” What to do? Keep looking.
This past week, unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen articles all over the place relating to the new iPhone 5. There were reviews, critiques, reports, evaluations, etc. – and most of these even before the handset was released! After last Friday’s release, there have been user stories, complaints, testing reports and more. iPhone 5 articles are prolific, and search strings related to iPhone 5 deliver a variety of sites not typically ranking high for this topic. It’s a golden opportunity for blog publishers if they can grab some of that traffic. As a writer, it’s our job to make a plausible and truly valuable link between the blog category “Real Estate” and the trending topic “iPhone 5.”
“How to Find a House With Your New iPhone” does this with aplomb. “Top 10 Real Estate Apps on iPhone 5” blows it up. These article titles will scream out to publishers, demanding instant action. “Tricks to Making a Winning Offer to Purchase” on the other hand, seems like it can wait.
Be Timely, not Timeless
While it may contain the finest details ever put down on a page related to offers to purchase Real Estate, “Tricks to Making a Winning Offer to Purchase” is not timely – and, if it is a great piece – may be timeless. Timeless articles are wonderful, but they don’t require immediate publication, because the information will be just as good next year as it is today. Timely articles, on the other hand, benefit both publishers and writers by capitalizing on the urgency of a trending topic.
Deliver the Goods
It’s important to note that once you’ve conceived of an interesting way to incorporate a trending topic into your article for a seemingly unrelated campaign, you’ve got to make the connection truly valuable. “How to Find a House With Your New iPhone” cannot simply list the various apps available that permit real estate searches. What is new on these apps for iPhone 5? Can Siri be employed to launch the app, or search for foreclosures? Can pictures or videos be taken of subject properties from within the apps? Nothing is worse than an article that fails to deliver the real value promised by the title.
If you’ve got a backlog of timeless articles that haven’t been published, it’s easy to go back and freshen them up with new trends. Follow the same concepts, and re-frame what you’ve already written to deliver new pieces that demand immediate publication.
When you keep in mind that blog owners want traffic above anything else, it’s easy to see how articles that deliver new search traffic are the most attractive and marketable articles. By framing your pieces in terms of timely new and ongoing trends, you empower publishers to reach new audiences. That’s great for them, but it’s better for you, because your timely articles will get picked up much faster than your timeless pieces. And, the faster your articles get gobbled up, the faster you get paid. That’s a trend everyone can get behind!